UN court rejects UAE request in Qatar dispute

World

FILE – In this May 5, 2018, file photo, a giant image of the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, adorns a tower in Doha, Qatar. The highest U.N. court has rejected a request by the United Arab Emirates for interim measures to be imposed on Qatar in a racial discrimination dispute. The case centers on the boycott of Qatar by Bahrain, Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which were angry at Qatar’s support for Islamists.
Qatar filed a case last year against UAE alleging that the boycott breaches an anti-discrimination convention. Judges issued an interim order that Qatari families separated by the UAE boycott must be allowed to reunite and Qatari students should be allowed to complete their education in the UAE. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The highest U.N. court on Friday rejected a request by the United Arab Emirates for interim measures to be imposed on Qatar in a racial discrimination dispute.

The case centers on the boycott of Qatar by Bahrain, Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which were angry at Qatar’s support for Islamists.

Qatar filed a case last year against UAE alleging that the boycott breaches an anti-discrimination convention. Judges issued an interim order that Qatari families separated by the UAE boycott must be allowed to reunite and Qatari students should be allowed to complete their education in the UAE.

Citing legal technicalities, judges at the International Court of Justice rejected by a 15-1 majority a UAE application to compel Qatar to unblock a website that enables family reunifications and to prevent state-run media from aggravating the dispute. They also rejected a request for Doha to drop a similar case at a U.N. anti-discrimination committee.

Qatar recently marked the second anniversary of the ongoing boycott, which has seen Bahrain, Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia shut off their airspace and seaports to Doha. Local media across the countries also continue to target Doha in the political dispute.

The U.S. and Western powers have sought to mend fences in the dispute, pointing to the heightened tensions between Washington and Iran, which were inflamed again on Thursday with Washington claiming Iran attacked two tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Qatar and the rest of the Gulf Arab nations host American troops and military bases. Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani also recently traveled to Saudi Arabia for two summits, where he briefly shook hands with King Salman. The trip marked the highest-level contact between the neighboring nations since the kingdom-led boycott of Doha began in 2017.

The world court case is likely to take months to complete. No date has been set for hearings.

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Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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